Variations in Antique Crochet Pattern Books

In the 8 years that I’ve been collecting antique crochet and needlework patterns, I’ve occasionally been pleasantly surprised to find variations between different copies of the same pattern book.

The first variation I found was in a Royal Society pattern book. I purchased an original on ebay, which I later resold. If I hadn’t made photocopies of it to work from, I probably would never have discovered that there were different variations at all. It was a fluke that I ever owned the second copy of the book; on another occasion, I won the bidding on a huge box of crochet pattern books, and another original of the same volume Royal Society book was in that box. When I actually went to work one of the patterns in the book, I came across a spot that was unreadable, so I got out my photocopy of the previous book. To my surprise, the instructions for the pattern I was working were not on the same page of the photocopies as they were in the original book. I then discovered that the page numbering was off because there was an additional pattern in the original. I took a look through the photocopies to be sure that I wasn’t mistaken; it’s pretty common for pages to simply be missing from a pattern book. But that wasn’t the case; all the numbered pages were accounted for in my photocopied book. The original contained more pages than the previous book that I had photocopied. I’d discovered a variation!

The next variation I discovered was in the Priscilla Bead book. I’ve owned 3 different copies of that book in the past, and one of them was different from the other two.

So, the lesson here is that you’ll never know what you find. 🙂

I wanted to bring this up because it is likely that you might start finding variations, too. Please keep this in mind when you look through the pattern books I am posting on this site. I’ll be linking you to sources to buy them whenever I find them, but please keep in mind that there could be differences between the copies that I am posting, and the copies that other sellers are selling.

Even if there are no variations between the actual patterns offered in the books, there are always going to be differences in condition. If a particular pattern or illustration is important to you, please make sure to ask the seller to make sure that page hasn’t been removed from the book, and to make sure that the instructions are complete. I can’t tell you how many times I have found missing pages in antique crochet pattern books.

I’ll be updating this page with more information as soon as possible; When the page is complete, it will have some photos of different variations that I’ve come across during the course of my pattern collecting adventures.